What Is A Catastrophic Injury?

People get injured all the time, but some injuries are far more severe than others. In personal injury law, we refer to certain injuries as “catastrophic.” A catastrophic injury is one that can significantly affect a person’s quality of life, their ability to work, and their ability to perform the same daily activities they were able to perform before the injury occurred. Here, we want to delve into exactly what constitutes a catastrophic injury as well as the types of compensation an injury victim can expect if somebody else was responsible for causing them harm.

Types of catastrophic injuries

If a person suffers from a catastrophic injury, this means that they have lost a vital part of their person. This could include the loss of a limb, the ability to walk, the ability to see or hear, or a loss of cognitive function. Regardless of the type of catastrophic injury a person suffers, all these injuries generally have one thing in common – they leave a victim with permanent damage.

Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries that occur in Oregon include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries (often with paralysis)
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Loss of limbs
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Significant scarring and disfigurement
  • Birth injuries as a result of medical malpractice

Additionally, a catastrophic injury could also be one that significantly affects a person’s cognitive abilities. In some cases, a catastrophic injury may not necessarily be visible on the outside of a body, but nonetheless affects how a person functions, learns, remembers, and interacts with those around them.

Catastrophic injuries such as these usually require require lifelong medical care at varying levels of intensity, depending on the nature of the exact injury.

Types of compensation available in a catastrophic injury lawsuit

Victims who sustain catastrophic injuries usually incur extensive financial losses as a result of what happened. Additionally, this can result in a significant financial burden on family members as well. When we consider the initial medical bills, all follow up medical care, any permanent care, as well as lost income, we are talking about costs rising into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

Catastrophic injury victims who are harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of other individuals, companies, or entities should be entitled to the following:

  • Complete coverage of any medical expenses related to the injury
  • Lost income if a victim cannot work as a result of the injury
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses the victim and their family incur due to the injury
  • Compensation for emotional and psychological pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life damages

Additionally, catastrophic injuries can affect the entire family. Taking care of somebody who has sustained a catastrophic injury can be emotionally draining and force spouses or other family members to quit their jobs to devote themselves to caring for the injury victim. This leads to additional expenses that should be compensated.

The total amount of compensation available in the aftermath of a catastrophic injury case will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation. A skilled Portland personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate every aspect of the claim and help calculate the total expected losses with the assistance of medical and financial experts.